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Respirology. 2016 May;21(4):626-37. doi: 10.1111/resp.12783.

Introduction to systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
2
Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
3
The Victorian Centre for Biostatistics (ViCBiostat), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

Systematic reviews provide a method for collating and synthesizing research, and are used to inform healthcare decision making by clinicians, consumers and policy makers. A core component of many systematic reviews is a meta-analysis, which is a statistical synthesis of results across studies. In this review article, we introduce meta-analysis, focusing on the different meta-analysis models, their interpretation, how a model should be selected and discuss potential threats to the validity of meta-analyses. We illustrate the application of meta-analysis using data from a review examining the effects of early use of inhaled corticosteroids in the emergency department treatment of acute asthma.

KEYWORDS:

fixed effect model; meta-analysis; random effects model; systematic review; tutorial

PMID:
27099100
DOI:
10.1111/resp.12783
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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